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In Strange Move, State Makes Changing Babies' Diapers A Felony Sex Crime

While there’s no shortage of bizarre laws on the books in jurisdictions across the nation, there are some that go above and beyond the realm of head scratching. This is one of those laws, and parents in the state of Arizona are both outraged and frightened.

As Mad Wolrd News explains, a new law in Arizona could potentially result in parents and caregivers that change children’s diapers being charged with committing a sex crime.

The law rightfully criminalizes any contact between an adult and a child’s genitals, but it’s written in such a way that it leaves itself wide open for interpretation. For example, there’s no carve-out for routine parent or caretaker acts such as changing a diaper or giving a child a bath.

In theory, those acts would now be grouped in with other sex crimes, and parents in the state are understandably pretty frightened about the possibilities that the law opens up. While any adult that engages in such activity in an abusive manner deserves to have the book thrown at them as hard as possible, the new law is opening up a tremendous amount of confusion.

The law as written is simply riddled with too many land mines, as Fordham law professor John Pfaff explains. As Pfaff sees it, a slippery slope is being opened up that could lead to all sorts of unfortunate situations.

“Arizona prosecutors can now dangle the threat of a probable child molestation charge conviction to coerce ant parent of a young child into taking a plea deal on unrelated charges,” he said. “With the state Supreme Court’s help, Arizona’s child molestation laws have been weaponized into a tool for prosecutorial harassment, allowing the state to target any parent or caregiver - out of spite or malice, or simply to boost their conviction rates.”

Pfaff makes an interesting point, and it’s one that conspiracy theorists would have a veritable field day with. While there’s no indication that the law was so sloppily written to accomplish what Pfaff is suggesting, the implication is nonetheless terrifying.

Sounds like this law is in need of some serious revisions as soon as possible to allay any of the baseless fears that are associated with it.

“This terrible decision has gutted constitutional rights and turned many of the state’s residents into unknowing criminals. Barring intervention by the US Supreme Court, due process has now been suspended for Arizona’s parents and caregivers,” Pfaff continued.

We’ll see if it needs to go that far before changes are implemented, but Pfaff’s message has come across loud and clear. While you’ll likely have an incredibly hard time finding opponents to laws that punish sex offenders even further, having a law that’s so open to interpretation could place some completely innocent folks in jeopardy of a life-altering set of circumstances.

Innocent people shouldn’t have to worry about that, and we’ll assume that state legislators will work through the language a bit more to ensure that this is no longer an issue.

Source: Mad World News
Photos: 123RF Stock Photo, Sergii Molodykov/123RF Stock Photo, Sellers Patton/Flickr, Karen Neoh/Flickr, Harmid/Wikimedia

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